Easy Vegetables to Grow in Indiana
If you live in Indiana, you may want to know the best vegetables to grow in Indiana.
Indiana is a Midwestern state that is part of what is known as The Great Lakes Region. The growing season in this state is quite lengthy running around 155 days in the northern part of the state and 185 days in the southern part of the state.
This allows for the growing of many vegetables, however since this area is susceptible to tornado’s, growing a successful garden in not guaranteed.
However, if Mother Nature is kind here are the best vegetables you can grow in Indiana. Do keep in mind that some years the last frost comes early and other years it can run well into May.
So regardless of the suggested planting dates, you should not plant any vegetables outdoors until two weeks after the last frost has occurred.
8 Best Vegetables to Grow in Indiana
Lettuce is one vegetable that almost every person eats on a fairly regular basis. It can be enjoyed in salads and sandwiches adding a nice crunch and mild flavor to foods you enjoy.
Lettuce is a great vegetable to grow in Indiana since this veggie thrives in cooler temperatures, making it ideal for early spring planting in late April or Early May.
This vegetable can be planted in any soil, but it does need to be well watered. Depending on the type of lettuce you grow this plant can take 30 to 70 days from planting to harvest.
Kale is a leafy green vegetable that is extremely rich in nutrients and can be used as a mixed green in salads, in soups, as a sautéed side dish and even as deep fried chips.
Like lettuce kale is normally planted in Indiana in late April or early May (if the last frost was two weeks or more before.)
Since kale can be grown in containers it can be planted a bit early and set out on warmer days and brought in on days when frost may be a problem.
Although actually a fruit and not really a vegetable, tomatoes are a favored plant in most vegetable gardens. Not only are they tasty, but also there are a huge variety of tomatoes to choose from.
In addition, for those who are container gardening, or have limited space this tasty fruit can be grown vertically.
Tomatoes are used in soups, salads, casseroles, as appetizers (think cherry tomatoes stuffed with cheese.), in sauces, turned into juice and even jelly. Best of all, the humble tomato can be enjoyed while still green (fried green tomatoes, green tomato jelly) or picked at the peak of ripeness.
While tomatoes can be grown from seeds, buying starter plants and planting them between late April and late June, you can harvest them by the last week of September.
Some of the most popular peppers to grow in Indiana include bell peppers, Jalapeno, and Habanero. Gardeners like growing peppers because they add color, texture and flavor to all types of dishes.
Since this vegetable likes hotter temperatures they can really thrive in the Southern part of the state. They also can be planted vertically so they are a great plant for those with smaller gardens.
Planting your peppers in late April through June should ensure they are ready to harvest by late August or September. Make sure your peppers are about fist size and are solid not soft before harvesting.
Squash is another vegetable that comes in several different varieties and run the gambit from Zucchini to pumpkin and everything in between. It is one of those vegetables that can be used in soups, casseroles, as a side dish, and even in breads and deserts.
Squash can grow on a pole and in dry conditions. When planting squash in Indiana it is best to plant the faster growing summer varieties rather than the winter varieties that take much longer to mature.
When you plant summer squash from mid May to early June your squash will be ready to harvest by mid to late summer. If you have a bountiful harvest of squash you can easily freeze some to enjoy all year long.
Carrots are a tasty vegetable that can be eaten either raw or cooked. They can be used in soups, casseroles, salads, dessert, and more. Most children like carrots and will willingly eat this vegetable.
Carrots are an easy vegetable to grow in Indiana. They can also be grown in a container if you lack garden space, but want to try your hand at eating this hearty and nutritious vegetable.
In Indiana you should be able to plant your carrot seeds between mid may and early June and harvest them 50 to 80 days later depending on the type of carrot you plant.
As far as vegetables go Eggplants are not as popular as carrots, peas, beans or corn, but over the last decade or so they have been finding their way into more and more people’s diets. Eggplants offer consumers vitamins and minerals and can be fried, roasted or baked.
Eggplants are easy to grow in Indiana as long as you choose a variety that is suitable for Indiana’s climate. Varieties like “Black Beauty” or “Jelly Bean” seem to do well when grown in Indiana.
Plant your eggplant from seedlings rather than seeds between late May and early June. This plant will be ready to harvest in 60 to 70 days after planting.
Beets are a great vegetable to grow in Indiana. However, since this vegetable has a long growing season you will need to start your seeds inside and transplant them after the threat of frost has passed.
That being said, since beets are cool weather plants, they will be ready to harvest early in the season before the weather gets too warm.
If you plant your starter plant mid to late May, your beets should be ready to harvest in about 45 days. The great thing about this vegetable is that both the leaves and the beet itself are edible and can be prepared in a number of different ways.
Final Thoughts on the Best Vegetables to Grow in Indiana
If you are a beginner gardener then talk to others who have been growing vegetables in Indiana as they can give you invaluable advice to ensure your garden is a success. And remember, you can always start out your gardening adventures by planting just one or two plants your first season.